PLoS Genetics has published an interview with Jenny Graves. Graves is one of the leaders in monotreme and marsupial genetics, and has been involved in some of the recent mammalian genome projects, including the platypus genome project (doi:10.1038/nature06936). She is also an expert in the evolution of mammalian sex chromosomes and sex determining genes. However, I’d like to point to a quote in PLoS Genetics’ interview of Graves that deals with science education:

So I’m becoming very interested in education, particularly of young children, which is where I think the rot sets in. Science is not taught well even at high school level, and at primary school level it is taught by people who are generally scared of science! Anybody who has anything to do with kids this age knows they are incredibly observant and incredibly clever at working out how what they observe relates to other things. Somehow that just gets lost. I’d love to see more attention on encouraging young kids to make their own hypotheses–crazy though they may be.

The entire interview is interesting, and it touches on many of the highlights (and lowlights) of Graves’ career.


  1. #1 Matt Dowling
    June 27, 2008

    Perhaps Graves larger point is that we should undergrads in science majors as much towards primary and secondary science education as we should towards grad and post grad research careers?

    I never felt this push myself, but I can see how poor science ed in the lower ranks colors kids for the rest of their lives, unless they are fortunate enough to have encountered a great teacher along the way.

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